Right at home

Entrepreneurs find second careers in hot home care industry

By:  Betty Dillard, Fort Worth Business Press

Fort Worth businessman John Riggins knows firsthand the impact a home caregiver can make in a person's life.

He served as a conservator for an aging relative with Alzheimer's disease and has a sister with Down syndrome who has received both home health care and institutional care for the last 50 years.  His mother, who lives out of state, occasionally needs companion care and rides to the grocery store or doctor's office.

"Home care is something that's been in my life since I was 8 years old," said Riggins, 55.  "I've seen the magical difference a caregiver gives my sister.  I know what caregiving can do, what a difference it can make for a family.  That was a motivation for me to start my own business."

Riggins, a business graduate of Christian Brothers University, served 22 years as president and chief executive for the Better Business Bureau in Fort Worth after running bureaus in Pensacola, Fla., and Memphis, Tenn.  He resigned in January 2013 to focus on starting his own business.  He looked for a company that would allow him to continue to help people, but in a more personal way.  After extensive franchise shopping and research, he put up personal savings and opened a Comforcare Senior Services franchise in October.  Serving the Fort Worth and Northeast Tarrant County territory, he'e one of 145 franchise owners for the Michigan-based company, which operates in 165 territories in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.  To read more, click here.


How I pivoted from a non-profit to my own business

After 22 years as CEO of the Better Business Bureau in Fort Worth, John Riggins wanted to start his own business. He also wanted to help people, but in a more personal way.

Using as as guidepost his own experience caring for family members who were aging or had special needs, Riggins resigned in January 2013 to launch his own business.

In October, he opened ComForcare Senior Services in Hurst.                                                                                                                                                                                  

Here, Riggins explains how and why he made the change:

I have a sister, Rose, who has had Down syndrome since she was born. She’s 50 years old now. She’s been in both institutional care and home health care. She can communicate but can’t speak. The last 10 years she really has bloomed with home care. I was also guardian for my father, who had Alzheimer’s. Those experiences were what got me interested.

You help people at the Better Business Bureau when it comes time to pick a roof or a car. Here, you help people at a different level. Being a caregiver, providing that kind of relief, is really rewarding. Combined with all the customer service stuff I learned at the Better Business Bureau, it seemed like a good fit.

I got into the Better Business Bureau work with the thought that I wanted to run my own business some day and that would be a great way to learn the basics like human relations and technology.

The most difficult part of the career change was taking a self-analysis of my skill sets and finding where it would go. I wrote down and looked at all my skills, what I’ve done in the past and what all it applies to. Starting a home-care business seemed like a very good fit.

I opened the ComForcare in Hurst in October. Our location serves Fort Worth, Benbrook, Northeast Tarrant County and Coppell. And so far, so good. I enjoy the challenges. It’s like running any small business. When you first start you’re doing 60 to 80 hours a week.  To read more, click here.

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